Његово Преосвештенство Епископ бањалучки Г. Јефрем

Епископ бањалучки Јефрем (у свијету Миле Милутиновић) рођен је у селу Буснови код Приједора, 15. априла 1944. године. Шест разреда основне школе завршио је у мјесту рођења, а VII и VIII разред у Санском Мосту, гдје потом похађа гимназију.


Служба Св. Свештеномученику Платону

Храм Христа Спаситеља Бања Лука



The first news on the existence of an Orthodox Church in Banja Luka comes from the 16th century, which does not mean that there weren’t any before that. The data indicate that the Serbs in this town had their own Church very early and that it was on the left side of the Crkvena River, where they had established a little Christian settlement. In 1596, Idriz Pasha gave permission for building an adobe Church in Banja Luka.


Petar (Ivancevic), an abbot of the monastery of Mostanica (about 1870-1914), noted that the Serbs in Banja Luka had built another Church and a school within it in the town, in Milicev sokak (in English: Milic’s Alley), but it burned in the uprising in 1851.


The original drawing of the Church in Banja Luka, from 1853, signed by Jovo Naumovic, the ordering party for the Church construction project, is one of the rare and precious testimonies about Orthodox Churches in Banja Luka, preserved in the archives of the Banja Luka parish.


Pelagic’s Cell Church


Cell churches, built during the Turkish times, had a distinctive look. They were not supposed to be built of bricks, but of wood and they were not allowed to be constantly covered. When constructing, one could not use iron or any colours what so ever. The first was not allowed so the cells would be strong and long-lasting, and the latter so they wouldn’t be colourful and beautiful.


Seeing that the people of Sarajevo succeeded to gain permission from the Porte to build their magnificent Cathedral, the leader of the Serbian people in Banja Luka, through the Patriarchate of Constantinople, referred to the same address with a desire to be allowed to construct a Church of a designated size, that corresponds to the town and the number of worshippers. In the late 1859, the Porte gave permission to “Banja Luka’s rayah to raise a house of prayer of a designated size” which was confirmed by the imperial firman.


Thinking that everything was resolved, the Serbs from Banja Luka and the surroundings began to collect construction materials. But they were wrong. Even with the imperial firman, the construction of an Orthodox Church in Banja Luka did not happen, as well as in 1863, when the Turks prevented them again.


People from Banja Luka built the Cell Church as a temporary solution, continuing to seek permission to construct a big and beautiful Church.


A document that reveals some, so far unknown, facts was retained in this Church. It was a baptismal certificate of Josif Radulovic who was born on 1st May 1869 and baptized on 15th May of the same year. The baptism was performed “at the Church of the Holy Trinity Temple in Banja Luka, Bosnia” which means that the Cell Church was dedicated to the Descent of the Holy Spirit. The document was issued on 20th August 1882 and signed by Parson Vid Kovacevic. The document is also valuable because it has a very clear stamp of the Temple of the Descent of the Holy Spirit.


The Church of Rebrovac


In an Annex of the magazine “The Source of Bosnia and Herzegovina” (in local: “Bosansko-hercegovači istočnik”) for 1888, there are valuable data on the Parish of Rebrovac and its Church. In this parish, there was an old wooden Church, called the Church of Rebrovac, which was set on fire with a riot and burned in 1876, with all of its possessions and notes. A new Church started to be built from solid materials in 1885 and by 1888 it was only walled up and covered. The Church was dedicated to the Nativity of the Theotokos.


In 1798, the Serbs gained permission from the Turkish government to renew the Church, destroyed during the uprising, from the beginning and of the previous dimensions. A Commission examined the wreck and found that “the Church should be reconstructed from the foundation” and pointed out that the repair must be done “without any extensions, but of the previous size”.


The Church of Rebrovac was built by a construction worker Antun Cerovic, who, as it was recorded, worked on getting the job done as thoroughly as possible and he succeeded. The Church of Rebrovac was consecrated on the feast of the Protecting Veil of the Mother of God, on 1st October (by Julian calendar) 1889, and the Episcopal liturgy was served by the Most Reverend Metropolitan Djordje Nikolajevic.


The religious divine service was attended by numerous dignitaries of the government, including the county mayor Baron Lazarini, local military general Leopold Gustav, with the officers’ corps, the town mayor Mr Tartalja and outer district mayor Taberi, as well as close to 3000 people.